DescriptionThis workshop will introduce students to the virtual world and how it can be used for problem solving with a unique perspective. Students will learn how to enter the virtual world via their avatar and create whole new worlds by collaborating with other students through their avatars. Working in real time, students will learn fundamentals of the virtual world platform Second Life. Instructors David Denton and Brier Tomlinson are architects living in the United States and have collaborated in the virtual world on several projects while living several thousand miles apart. They have been working in the virtual world for over five years and will talk about their personal journeys through what both would describe as a unique lifestyle. The students will learn about the culture of the virtual world and its extraordinary diversity and opportunities. The class will be restricted to no more than 20 students, and each student will be required to bring a laptop. Although most laptops will be adequate for this program, this should be confirmed by viewing the minimum requirements to run Second Life: http://secondlife.com/support/system-requirements/ The emphasis of the program will be to introduce students to the concept of collaborating in the virtual world, but perhaps most importantly to begin thinking about how this technology can be used in their own fields. Students will be asked to find a problem in their field that might be addressed and conceptually describe how this virtual world technology might be used.
William ("Brier") Tomlinson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Haverford College, and a Masters in Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University. He is licensed in New York State and in California, and holds a current California registration. He is an architect and planner, with 30 years of practice and broad experience in related design fields, especially landscape design and interior design. His initial professional experience was with Fisher-Friedman Associates, an architecture and planning firm in San Francisco specializing in high density low rise housing. Beginning in 1986 and continuing through 2002, he worked for Innocenti & Webel in Locust Valley, New York, a firm with a celebrated history in landscape architecture which also grew to include planning, architecture, and interior design. For that firm he did high profile conceptual and design work on many important and high profile projects and clients. These included a sculpture garden for the Smithsonian's Cooper Hewitt Museum, National Design Museum in New York City; landscape concepts for the on-site Museum at the BMW North American Assembly Plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina; planning, architecture, and landscape architecture improvements for the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia; concept and planning work for a proposed refit of the HMS Queen Elizabeth, as well as for the Q5, a project for a new transatlantic liner. In recent years the focus of his work has been providing architectural services to Tucker & Marks, Inc, a leading interior design company in San Francisco with a specialty in high-end residential design. His work for them has been varied, with projects ranging from the complete interior architecture of large houses to the design of light fixtures and furniture. His concurrent work has been in the area of virtual worlds, with a focus on content creation for Second Life; that body of work makes him, quite possibly, the most experienced and prolific architect creating high quality content in the area of virtual worlds. He has designed and created projects for academic institutions, including a large events venue for the University of Western Australia, and, with David Denton, a teaching installation for the University of New Mexico. His entry to the University of Western Australia's Flagship Challenge, to design the UWA Cultural Precinct Flagship Building, took first prize. His projects for individuals and virtual businesses have ranged from elegant and meticulous compositions in traditional styles, to gritty futuristic and science fiction environments with evocative atmospherics.
David Denton, a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, is an architect and urban planner with over 30 years of experience in the field. He started his career as a volunteer teaching architecture in the Peace Corps in Tunisia and was an exchange student in the IAESTE program working as an urban planner in Harlow New Town, UK. He was the design partner for the San Francisco firm of Whistler Patri responsible for numerous large scale commercial projects including the well known San Francisco Center. Before starting his own design firm in Los Angeles in 1997 he was the managing partner of the internationally renowned firm, Frank Gehry and Associates. He was directly involved in many of the well-known buildings produced by that office such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall. His own design practice for the last four years has incorporated the use of the virtual world in architectural design and urban planning projects. He was one of the first architects to use Second Life as a design tool for a real life project, a shopping center now under construction in Cairo Egypt. He cofounded the Project K2 C with his Egyptian colleague, Dr. Amr Attia inspired by Pres. Barack Obama's speech in Cairo in which he outlined his vision of Internet collaboration between students in Kansas and Cairo. The project brings together in collaboration American and Egyptian architecture students on architecture and planning projects of mutual interest. This project is currently being funded by the US State Department and is being expanded. The students collaborate in the virtual world through their personalized avatars. He also has designed several projects in the virtual world for universities that will be utilized as teaching tools for children. Current clients in the Virtual World include The McKinsey Company, Stanford University Library, University of Southern California, University of New Mexico and Santa Barbara City College. His innovative work in the virtual world has been featured in several publications including the Architectural Record and the New York Times. His work has also been selected to be archived in the permanent collections of Stanford University and the Library of Congress as innovative work in the early development of the virtual world. Currently he is designing a multi-media installation to be built on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. His lives in Knoxville, Tennessee. DavidDenton.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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